Toronto’s Jack Nixon, 8, named ‘Youth Grand Champion of Champions’

Jack Nixon, an eight-year-old youth exhibitor from Toronto, was crowned 2017 Youth Grand Champion of Champions at the American Philatelic Society StampShow.

Jack Nixon, an eight-year-old from Toronto, was crowned 2017 Youth Grand Champion of Champions at the American Philatelic Society StampShow in Richmond, VA, August 3 - 6, 2017. The competition is sponsored by the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors. His traditional exhibit, entitled “Canada 1952-57 Wildlife Series” qualified for the award by winning the Youth Grand Award at CANPEX 2016.  Jack’s exhibit also received Best Traditional Award and Judge’s Choice Award for Treatment of Material. Nixon’s exhibit features several dozen stamps with postal uses as well as posters and photographs issued by the Post Office Department (now Canada Post) and stamps designed by the series’ designers. “We just liked the animals and wanted to use them,” the youngster told Canadian Stamp News in an 2016 interview, when the same exhibit was first entered in the North Toronto Stamp Club’s 73rd Annual Exhibition held during the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show. Continue reading →

First PHSC Symposium ‘overwhelmingly successful’

From the left: Symposium chair David Hobden is joined by Hamilton city councillor Judi Partridge and show vice-chair Bill Longley at the inaugural PHSC Symposium held in July.

The Postal History Society of Canada (PHSC) hosted its inaugural PHSC Symposium this July, and according to the society’s President Stéphane Cloutier, it was an “overwhelmingly successful” four days. Aside from an extensive bourse and exhibit display, the symposium offered a chance for PHSC members from across the country to meet for the first time. “The camaraderie – I think that’s word that comes up a lot – has been very big. A lot of members of the PHSC have never met each other, myself included,” said Cloutier, who has been president of the society for eight years and secretary-treasurer for another eight years before that. “I’ve emailed and corresponded with a lot of these members but never met them. Today, I can see a lot of these people.” According to Cloutier, there were about 10 members visiting from British Columbia, several from the Maritimes, one from Yukon, several more from the U.S. and at least one from across the pond in England. “We have members in a couple of other countries, such as Israel and Africa, but they didn’t make it,” he added, with a laugh. Cloutier said there was “a lot of talk” throughout the four-day symposium that it was the first symposium of its kind in Canada. “I don’t know of anything else which is not purely just a bourse and an exhibition, or sometimes one or the other, where sometimes there are talks and breakout sessions, which are super interesting.” One of the breakout sessions – held July 22 by Alec Globe and Bill Radcliffe – featured an in-depth analysis of Canada’s two- and four-ring fancy cancels. “The social aspect is also stronger,” said Cloutier, adding the four-day PHSC Symposium is more like a vacation than a quick two-day visit. Continue reading →

Eastern Auctions sale sees ‘very strong’ results

Lot 48 was a rare, used example of the surcharged five-shilling-on-five-mark stamp featuring a missing period after the ‘I’ in the ‘G.R.I.’ overprint. This example hammered down for $25,000 at the June 17 Eastern Auctions sale.

New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions recently offered a 685-lot sale of worldwide and British North America stamps and postal history, including a number of “noteworthy” rarities. The June 17 sale, which was held at the Lord Nelson Hotel and Suites in Halifax, N.S., saw several serious bidders drive up the hammer price on a handful of key items. “The British Columbia section – one of the highlights of the sale – went well above expectations, especially some of the postal history,” said Yohann Tanguay, chief describer of Eastern Auctions’ public sales, who added it was “a very strong sale” overall. “Valuable and important stamps were keenly sought-after. Several serious bidders were often contesting against each other, pushing up the prices, notably New Guinea (New Britain) G.R.I. (Georgius Rex Imperator, referring to the incumbent British King George V) stamps, early classic stamps of British North America, Canada plate multiples, choice mint NH (never hinged) singles, among others.” Continue reading →

WHC issues 33rd ‘duck stamp’ as it looks to reconnect with philatelists

The 2017 Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation stamp features the painting ‘Tranquil Waters – Canada Geese’ by wildlife artist Angela Lorenzen, of Thorndale, Ont.

Aside from Canada’s sesquicentennial, 2017 marks another special milestone: this year is the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Birds Convention Act. The act, which was established in 1917 and updated in 1994, protects hundreds of native bird species that migrate between Canada and the U.S. as well as the habitat these populations require. The legislation came on the heels of the Migratory Bird Convention, which was signed in August 1916 by the United Kingdom (representing Canada) and the U.S. One organization celebrating the centennial of the Migratory Birds Convention Act is Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC), which recently issued the 33rd stamp of its annual Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation series. Established in 1984, WHC is a national non-profit and non-governmental charitable organization. Its grant program – founded one year after the organization was created – has invested about $55 million in support of more than 1,500 conservation projects across Canada. “It varies year to year, but annually the organization funds upwards of 35 conservation activities across the country, whether it’s fixing a wetland; wetland or waterfall research projects; or promoting environmental stewardship and a connection with nature,” said WHC Executive Director Cameron Mack. Continue reading →

RPSC executive undergoes ‘major makeover’ at Royal Convention

From the left: Retiring board members François Brisse; Marilyn Melanson; Rodney Paige; and George Pepall were presented with honorific medals at The RPSC’s annual general meeting on May 27.

The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) hosted its annual general meeting (AGM) during this year’s Royal Convention in Boucherville, Que. Overall, the state of the society was described in positive terms by all attending directors, including outgoing RPSC President George Pepall, who’s retiring as the third-longest-serving RPSC president with eight years at the helm. The second-longest-serving president was Dr. George M. Geldert, who was president for nine years from 1959-1967. He was followed by the legendary Harry Sutherland, the society’s longest-serving president, who served for 11 years from 1968-78. Pepall noted the society’s executive underwent a “major makeover” this year with six retiring board members and several new appointments. The incoming president is Jim Taylor, of Calgary, Alta. Owing to his ongoing role as international exhibition liaison, Taylor – who was named a Fellow of The RPSC in 2015 – is no stranger to the society or its far-reaching aspirations. “I really hope that the future executive continues to operate as we did, as an executive committee that meets three, four, sometimes five times a year, and refers to the board when issues are complex and when they need a wider endorsement and more feedback,” said Pepall. “I really believe that was an effective way to work, but we had a good advantage all being in Southern Ontario. That was a coincidence; that’s not likely to be the case next year … but I challenge the future executive to try to maintain that modus operandi.” Continue reading →

Social events overcome ‘disappointing turnout’ at Royal*2017*Royale

George Pepall, left, outgoing president of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, stands with outgoing treasurer Rodney Paige.

For the third time in less than a decade, the annual convention of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) was held in Québec, where attendees – although sparse – were treated to a “uniquely Québec event.” Recently held in Dorval in 2011 as well as Québec city in 2008, the RPSC Convention returned to “la belle province” for its 89th edition this May 26-28; however, this year’s three-day show, held at Hôtel Mortagne in Boucherville, saw a “disappointing turnout” according to outgoing RPSC President George Pepall. “We certainly ate well throughout the weekend,” he said, recalling the three-course wine and cheese function as well as the awards banquet. “It was fun, and a uniquely Québec event.” Pepall added the hotel was a “perfect venue” for a philatelic convention. “There are marvellous facilities all in one structure, both for the ongoing events throughout the weekend and the display itself with the dealers surrounding the hall, but attendance wasn’t what we’d like it to be,” he said. “We didn’t have the foot traffic that we would’ve wanted and might’ve expected in a bigger community, but you have huge support there from the local politicians, especially the mayor, Jean Martel.” Continue reading →

R. Maresch & Son returns to show business amid big move

Peter Maresch (left), owner of R. Maresch & Son, alongside Rob Perfect at Orapex in Ottawa this May.

Peter Maresch – the grandson of famed philatelic collector and dealer Richard Maresch – has big plans for the next phase of the Toronto-based family business. The business will be moving from its fifth-floor Yonge Street office to a new headquarters about 30 minutes north of downtown in Aurora, Ont. The new office, which they’ll be moving to at the end of September, is unit six of 2 Vata Ct. “We’ve outgrown the space,” said Maresch at his Orapex dealer table on May 7. “Stamps are coming in by the truckloads. They used to come in briefcases; now they’re coming in truckloads. It’s great, but it’s just too difficult to get them in and out.” Continue reading →

Orapex astounds in nation’s capital

Orapex chair Michael Powell (shown above) will return as show chair for the third consecutive year in 2018.

“Great” is not a term used lightly in philatelic circles, but it was something heard early and often at the recent Orapex. The 56th edition of Orapex – the Ottawa RA Centre Philatelic Exhibition – returned to Ottawa on May 6-7, and by all accounts it was a “great” weekend (aside from the sole international dealer, Bill Barrell, of London, England, who chose to employ the word “brilliant” instead). “Things have been great,” said Michael Powell, Orapex chairman, on the morning of the second day. “We’ve been thrilled. We had great crowds yesterday. You could hardly walk down there for the first couple hours, and it stayed busy throughout the day.” Powell, who will be returning as Orapex chairman for the third consecutive year in 2018, said the dealer response was likewise positive. “I think most of the dealers were pretty happy with the business that has been going on, and there was just a marvellous field of exhibits this year, too.” (See page 10 for a review of this year’s exhibition, including the full palmares.) One of the six judges, John Wilson, said “there’s a great fraternity” at Orapex. Continue reading →

Show preview: 89th RPSC Convention coming to Boucherville later this month

Margaret Schulzke, executive assistant of The RPSC National Office, and George Pepall at last year’s Royal Convention in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.

The 89th Convention of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) is right around the corner. Organized by l’Association des numismates et des philatélistes de Boucherville (ANPB) and the Fédération québécoise de philatélie (FQP), the convention will be held May 25-28 at Hôtel Mortagne on 1228 Nobel St. in Boucherville, Que. Admission and parking are free. Nearly 30 of Canada’s top philatelic dealers will preside over more than 45 tables of material on the bourse, which is being held in the hotel’s Boucherville Room. Canadian Stamp News will be selling magazines as well as philatelic supplies at table six. The bourse will open to the public at 10 a.m. each day before closing at 5 p.m. on May 26, 27, and 4 p.m. on May 28. RPSC President George Pepall said this year marks three anniversaries that are relevant to the 2017 Royal Convention: the 350th anniversary of the founding of Boucherville, which is just east of Montreal on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River; the 300th anniversary of the death of Pierre Boucher (1622-1717), who was the settler of Boucherville and governor of New France from 1654-57 and 1662-67; and the 50th anniversary of the ANPB. “It has drawing power because of the strength of the clubs in Quebec. The FQP is very strong,” said Pepall, who added the FQP is the only provincial philatelic organization in Canada. “They have provincial government support and an office at the Stade Olympique that allows them to administer the hobby across Quebec. They’re very strong on youth philately, too.” Continue reading →

Building relationship with local postal clerks ‘key’ to finding errors

George Kaltenecker, owner of Covernutz, displays a misperforated Pansies souvenir sheet he recently purchased from his local postal clerk. Kaltenecker said the clerk sold three misperforated sheets to other collectors before selling one to him.

One dealer is especially excited for spring’s arrival thanks to a recent pickup from his local postal clerk. George Kaltenecker, owner of the Toronto-based Covernutz, recently purchased one of Canada Post’s 2015 Pansies souvenir sheets from a postal clerk in the Greater Toronto Area. Each sheet features the dramatic misperforation that was originally discovered upon its release two years ago. “She has helped me out by finding me two major misperf items over the course of the last two years, and for that, she has now been added to my annual Christmas gift card list,” said Kaltenecker, who specializes in postal history and deltiology. “She is always looking for unique items for me, and hopefully she will come up with more great finds.” As detailed in an April 2015 issue of CSN (Vol. 39, No. 25), Quebec stamp dealer Michelle Levesque, co-owner of Zimo Stamp Co., originally discovered the misperforation on four souvenir sheets. One of these sheets has since been sold by Zimo to a collector in Hong Kong for $1,000 US. These freaky misperforations, also known as misperfs, lay between the trinity of philatelic peculiarities known as errors, freaks and oddities (EFOs). And when it comes to misperfs, the amount of interest shown by collectors – and their potential value on the market, as with most EFOs – is dependent on the severity of the error. Continue reading →

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